Patience: In It For The Long Haul

patience

One of the views from my solo hike this past Saturday.

I recently read a post on Writer Unboxed by Tracy Hahn-Burkett called “Patience over the Long, Long Haul.” I felt it was directed at me. It talks about writing especially when things are just taking foreeeveeeerrrrrr. It was really nice to read because sometimes it feels like I must be the laziest writer in all the world. I’m not! I’m totally not. But I’m also unpublished. It’s one of those situations where people don’t realize just how hard you are working because you don’t have anything “concrete” to show for it yet.

I must admit that sometimes this gets to me. I’ve written four books and I’m trying my hardest to get one ready to query this year. But sometimes I go days without touching my manuscript and it just kills me.

You see, I spend a lot of my days making targets or building ships out of legos. I’m also a master at shaping play dough into Star Wars ships. Millennial Falcon, Tie Fighter, X-Wing . . .  I’ve even made At-Ats. Am I a cool mom or what? Aside from that, I’m also doing all the typical, necessary chores that make this house run. I’m also a family “bus” driver to get my kids to music lessons, sport practices, church activities. I’m not a soccer mom though.  Nope! And before you think my kids are over scheduled . . . I’m also a lazy mom. They don’t get to participate in EVERYTHING. I just can’t handle that.

I’m also trying to get healthy again (which is like another full time job). I know I’m getting older . . .(yes, I hear this all the time) but my body just isn’t working efficiently right now. I’m thinking that five pregnancies, four births, breastfeeding and nine months on contaminated vitamins  has put my body through the wringer. I’m not overweight, I’m in general good health, but you know when you know your body’s just a little off? Well that’s me right now and I’m trying to get things “right” again. I’ve been trying everything with very little results until now. Wouldn’t you know, good old calorie counting and a lot of exercise is what’s finally working.

Wow . . . I just went off on a tangent there. Anyway, back to writing. Yes. I love writing. I know this is what I’m supposed to do. It’s nice to know that even though this is taking so long to actually accomplish something, there’s still hope. The ship hasn’t sailed away, leaving me back on the dock wondering if I should try to swim after it or just give up. As Tracy’s article states, I just need to quit beating myself up about it. I need to have patience. I’m doing what I should be doing and I’m good with that.

Posted in Health, Inspiration, Journey, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Window Into My Life: What Inspires You To Write?

inspires kite flying

Here’s a window into my life right now. Beautiful, clear blue sky. Greenery everywhere to rival the hills of Ireland. Warm sun enveloping you with a feeling of love. Children racing to get ready for the day so they can squeeze in some outdoor play time before they have to go to school. A warm breeze bringing the scent of pines from the mountains mixed with the drying grasses it blew through to get to me. Laughter and “Look Mom! It’s flying.”

Life is lived in moments like this.

A blog I follow asked the question “What inspires you to write and what keeps you going?”

This is it. These moments are what inspire me to write.

So much of life is mundane. We repeat the same chores, do the same job, eat the same foods. It’s the never ending (and for me, very literal) wash, rinse, repeat. There’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion. But that means you also have to be paying attention. One moment you will be getting kids ready for school with all the hassles that entails, and the next, life will surround you with richness that will stop you in your tracks and demand you draw it in.

I want to capture these moments and somehow convey in words the depth of the experience. This is what keeps me going, to keep learning and practicing. I want to tell stores that are rich with life, even when it’s those sad and difficult moments that cause so much despair. And through it all, I want people to see the beauty and to know that life is precious and worth it.

So I keep writing and hoping my words will mean something to someone. I’ve been through too much ugly in my life to not try and see the the good and help others to see it too.

Now it’s your turn. What inspires YOU to write? What keeps you going?

Posted in Family, Inspiration, Journey, Nature, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blogger Recognition Award

I recently received the wonderful honor of being nominated for the Blogger Recognition award by M.L.S. Weech. He’s great, guys. Seriously. Have you read his book yet?  To be nominated by him is . . . very flattering. Thank you Weech!

To accept the award I must:

Thank the blogger who nominated me and provide a link to his blog. (Done!)

Write a post to show my award. (You’re reading it.)

Give a brief story as to how my blog got started. (Below)

Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers. (Below)

Select 15 other bloggers for this award. (Below)

Comment on each blog to let them know I nominated them and link them to this post. (I will try my best.)

Ok, so here it goes.

How my blog got started . . .

Well, I was one of those people you’d call a “Mommy Blogger” for seven or so years on another hosting site. I loved it and found it a great way to write about the experiences I was having and to share with others what I’ve learned through the journey of motherhood. I’ve always been a writer and this is what kept me going. Then I started to get “really serious” about my writing career. I was learning so many exciting things about writing, things I had never learned in school. I needed a place to express my excitement about what I was learning and doing to advance my writing and so “The Excited Writer” was born. Since then it’s become a blog about life and writing, and writing about life.

My two pieces of advice for new bloggers?

  1. Believe in yourself. You can have a whole cheer leading squad and stadium full of fans cheering you on, but until you believe in yourself and that you are worth every effort you are putting into something, you just aren’t going to make it. You’re going to burn out or quit. So believe you can do something. If you fail, pick yourself up and try again. And remember, there’s more people in the world who want to see you succeed than there are of those who want you to fail –even if it doesn’t always seem like it.
  2. Be true to yourself on your blog. Be genuine. Be honest.

BONUS: (because I have to preach about one of my biggest pet peeves) Don’t have too many distracting ads on your blog. Seriously.  I understand ads. I don’t mind them. However, if there’s so many I can’t even get to your content, then I’m gone. (Ok, soap box is gone now. You can pretend you didn’t just see that if you’d like.)

Bloggers I’d like to nominate for award (that haven’t already been nominated my Weech):

North of Andover (I love his writing glitches!)

Novelty Revisions (I love her down to earth advice.)

Red String Papercuts (I find Steve’s comments to always be supportive and encouraging.)(Yes, I know Weech nominated you too, but I just had to nominate you again.)

Allie Potts Writes (She has a mix of serious and fun posts that are always enjoyable to read.)

Write Thoughts (Adam is another one who always has supportive and encouraging comments and his blog is fun to read.)

Thoughts Stained With Ink (Nicole is brave. I enjoy her blog too.)

Michael Seidel (His comments are great too! And he’s got fun taste in music.)

(Can you kind of see how much I enjoy comments? 🙂

I’d also like to mention the Quintessential Editor also even though Weesh nominated him first.

Ok, this is no where near to fifteen. There’s just so many out there!

Again, I am very flattered to have been nominated for the blogger recognition award.

So what’s next for the Excited Writer? Well if you’re a regular here and have noticed my absence, it’s because I’m deep in editing mode. And . . . things got a little unbalanced in my life. I will probably be talking about how important routine is next week. Until then, have a great weekend!

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Self Care, Depression and Re-Discovering Yourself

depression

 Not too long after my last post, I went on my first solo hike in over fifteen years. It was something I needed to do, not to get away from anything or anyone, but for myself.

I’m a naturally introverted person, so that means I need some alone time to be able to function.

I also tend to take care of others’ needs above my own. I’m a mother. I think that’s natural and I willingly do it. But this combination can be a recipe for disaster.

Because I at one point was diagnosed with depression (postpartum), I know just how dangerous it can be to allow myself to fall into that dark hole again.

Each day is a fight. A fight to keep myself happy and healthy while balancing this with the needs of my beautiful family. It doesn’t always feel like a fight, but then there are times that in a very real sense, I am fighting for my life.

Now I realize this may sound dramatic. It’s an internal war that most of the time people aren’t even aware I’m fighting. I’m okay with that. I’m not always sad, angry or depressed. Most of the time I’m not. Most of the time my life is filled with so much joy I can barely contain it all. I am fully aware of just how much I have been blessed and I take great happiness in the little things in my life.

However, if I forget to take care of myself (which happens), then I feel that depression creeping up on me.

The best way to describe it is the feeling of being stalked by a wild animal. You know that cougar or bear is back there and you just need to get to safety before something happens. Lucky for me, I have learned where my safe zones are and what I need to do to get there.

Hence, the solo hike.

Out on this hike there was just me, the trail and my God. I was able to let everything go as I pushed my body to hike up those trails. I didn’t have to think of anything or do anything except hike. This allowed myself to listen and what I heard was powerful. I am strong, brave, gentle, loving, persistent, talented, blessed. It’s hard to convey in words what an amazing spiritual experience this was without diluting the sacred nature of what happened.

This experience has made me realize something. Sometimes you just need to re-discover yourself. I didn’t learn anything new on this hike that I didn’t already know, but I did need to be reminded of it. I think we know ourselves better then we think, but the “world” would have us forget.

We see so much, but we don’t often see ourselves or the potential we have. This is one of my biggest stumbling blocks. When I haven’t taken care of myself the way I should, I begin to despair and to believe that negative voice that tells me my efforts are worthless or that I’m never going to get there. I know this isn’t true so why do I let myself even entertain those thoughts? Well . . . because I’m in a constant battle for my life. I’m going to win though. And I’m going to win it joyfully and with Light, knowing who I am and where I want to go.

Posted in Family, Fear, Health, Inspiration, Journey, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

My Soul Needs The Mountains

mountainsMy soul needs the mountains -I’m convinced, just as my body needs air to breath and water to drink.

How cliche, I know. And yet it’s true. Growing up, when life would just become too much -as it often did, and I yearned for something still, and quiet, I would take to the woods. Drizzly days were always my favorite.

Walking through the woods or climbing mountains, it’s easy to forget -just for a moment, how difficult life can be.

In the woods, it’s just you and the buzz or song of quiet life, perfectly willing to share its rejuvenating energy with you. And there’s nothing like looking out over a beautiful vista, listening to the birds and looking at the little details in the vastness of the earth. That’s when  you realize that just like those little details that add so much to the whole picture, you too are a part of it. Up in the mountains, it’s easy to know exactly who you are.

But then you have to come back to “civilization.”

Then you have to come back among the noise and the hustle where you’re sized into cookie cutter clothes and “us” and “them” boxes. You have to come back and try to ignore the voice that says you don’t matter when you know full well that you do.

Back in this “civilization” you have to always take a stance for some reason. “How do you feel about this? Given this situation how would you vote on that issue? If you believe this then you must also believe that . . . ” All these things and more, spoken in rushed voices to where you can hardly think and then demanded to voice your view as if it were some commodity to be extracted from you. I am not a commodity.

All the while in this “civilization,” your image can be stolen. Someone can pretend to be you, say things you would never say and do things you would never do. With so many counterfeit yous and nothing to do about it, it’s easy to loose the you that is you, the real authentic you.

But not so in the mountains.

Up there, you are just you. The simple you who’s still, quiet and listens. Up there you are the you who looks for the bigger picture. Up there, you are are the you who can see more clearly and realize what you need to do.

This is why I need the mountains -today especially, with the drizzly sky and the chirping birds. I need the peace that a walk alone in the mountains would bring. And then, I need to bring back the real, authentic me, wild and strong, and not let anyone or anything take it from me.

Posted in Health, Inspiration, Journey, Nature, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments